2018-19 Beginners Week 27

Hi everyone,
I hope you had a great break and are ready to get back down to business this week with some rested legs!

First, though, I do need to comment on how you guys rocked Wembley.  I am attaching my photo from that run – you guys are amazing.

We are so incredibly proud of all of you and how far you’ve come.  We have two more long runs to go and we know you can ALL do this.I saw Perla at Wellington Arch today as I was trying to get my own long run done – loved seeing her out on such a beautiful day in London!

A few things:
First, if you haven’t submitted information for the Milan photo directory, please do so ASAP.  Just click here for the fast and easy Google form!I’ll start chasing you down soon if you don’t submit…  Thank you to those who already have!
Right now, the weather in Milan is looking a bit warmer than what we have had in London, but not too warm.  So mid to upper-40s F/7-10 C is what is showing now for the race time starts about 2 weeks before the race, subject to change of course, and then warming up during the race.  You should be trying out what you think you might wear on the race over the next week or so.  Make sure nothing rubs the wrong way, think about layers, etc.  Some people will buy a cheap outer layer that they plan to toss when they get hot so they don’t have to carry it.  So think about whether you care if something is tied around your waist.  My beginner year, I bought that cheap layer but I realized during the race that I was so used to having something around my waist that I didn’t care, so I kept it.  Everyone is different, but think about what might work for you.

This week and for Kew, we will plan to take our gels while running.  We need to practice – we do not plan to stop to take the gels during the race.  Sometimes the gel packaging can be tricky – so just resort to pulling the tab off with your teeth if you have to.  This is why we practice 🙂  We will take the gels about 70-80 min into the run.

I know we are all excited to do the run to Canary and get us some margaritas.  I need to tell you, though, that Tortilla has suddenly realized that alcohol is not supposed to be served before 11 am (What?!?!).  So we may have a little pause before getting our drinks…
OK – for the run, don’t forget:

  • eat something before the run
  • bring water
  • bring a gel if you have one
  • bring your Oyster card
  • bring money/credit card for margaritas and breakfast burritos!

I have extra gels and will bring some with me this week for anyone who wants to try something new.
Canary Wharf route
Section One – Regents Park to the Canal
Run down Wellington Road to Prince Albert, cross using the zebra crossing and then head down to the mosque where you enter the park.  At the light, cross the Outer Circle and enter the park, keeping to the left and going over the wooden bridge.  Run straight and take a slight left (not a hard left) and run, crossing over one cross path and turning left at the second one.  Run back over the Outer Circle, cross the canal and then take a right to go down onto the canal.

Section Two – Canal to the Wall
Run along the canal for approximately 3 miles until the canal pathway ends at the famous “Wall.”  Note – there is likely a detour we will need to take:
DIVERSION – Follow the bridge across the canal and turn right on Camden High Street. Take the first left on Hawley Crescent and then left on Kentish Town Road. There is an entrance back to the canal path on the left side of the bridge.

Section Three – Angel Roads
We need to run through the Angel neighbourhood until we can re-enter the canal path.   At the wall follow the ramp up to Muriel Street.  Take a right and then an almost immediate left up a path that winds between the apartment buildings.  See the picture below for the entrance to the path.

Keep going straight on the path and it will become Maygood Street.  When you get to the intersection of a main road (Barnsbury Road) turn right.  Run until you make the second left onto Chapel Market.  (There is a metal archway saying Chapel Market and a zebra crossing at the intersection.)  Follow Chapel Market until the end.  (NB:  There is a public Ladies Room at the end of White Conduit Street, which intersects with Chapel Market about midway.)  Turn right at Liverpool Street to the major road Upper Street.  Cross Upper Street and turn left.  (NB:  Angel Tube Station is to your right if you are going home from here.)  Make your first right at Duncan Street and follow until the end.  The entrance to the canal path will be directly in front of you.  Go straight along the canal (NOT a sharp right turn.)

Section Four – Canal to Limehouse Basin
We run for about 4 miles following the canal path past Victoria Park to the Limehouse Basin.  We exit the canal path at the wire looking bridge – see picture below – and take the brown brick steps up to the left.

Section Five – Limehouse Basin to Canary Wharf
At the top of the brick steps, go straight.  At the Limehouse Gallery and Bronze Age shop turn right.  Run along the water until you reach the second metal foot-bridge leading to a park.  Cross the bridge and run through the park.  After the park, you’ll run straight, under an arch and the water will be on your right.  Run with the water on your right until you see the long flight of steps next to Royal China – see picture below.  You’re almost there! 

Run up the steps and run one full time around the traffic circle.  Then run a half circle and continue on as if you had run straight ahead from the steps, through the small park to India Drive and then veer slightly right along Cabot Square.  You’re heading for the big skyscraper building in front of you.  Stop when you see the sign for the Canary Wharf DLR Station at the ‘mall’ entrance on the South Colonnade.  We’ll meet at the Tortilla inside the building, just right of the entrance. Yay!

2018-19 Beginners Week 25

Hi everyone,You all continue to impress us!  Last week was a tough run because most of the second half was uphill.  You all did it so amazingly well!
A few quick reminders for the run this week:

  • eat something before the run
  • bring your Oyster card
  • we will be bringing the gels again this Thursday.  Bring water!  Try a different gel and then go out and purchase a few of your own.  We will keep bringing our stash until it runs out but you will need gels for Canary Wharf and Kew as well as the race.  You will want to have two for the race just in case.

**** Money Collection – Tuesday 12 Feb 8:30-11:00am ****
You should have already received an email, but just a reminder that Tuesday is money collection day.  Here is the info if you didn’t, or if you’ve misplaced the email.

Please stop by Megan Marine’s house at 12 Loudoun Road (right next to ASL’s Loudoun Gate) sometime between 8:30-11am with cash (cash only, please!) to cover the costs as detailed below.  An enormous thank you to Megan for letting us take over her house for the morning!!  IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT AT THAT TIME ON TUESDAY, PLEASE ARRANGE FOR A FRIEND TO TAKE YOUR PAYMENT FOR YOU AND COLLECT YOUR KIT!

We also collect for the race expenses at this time, because the restaurants and tour company require large deposits well in advance (and these have already been covered by our organisers).  For similar reasons, please note that after this date we cannot give refunds on the meal or tour costs if you need to cancel later, as we’re being billed on the numbers we submit now.

The total cost to all Milan Race Attendees will be £165, which includes dinner all three nights, and is broken out below.  The optional tour is £25 if you signed up for it.  And your Nike total depends, of course, on how much you ordered.  The attached pdf shows the Nike totals for everyone who ordered, sorted by first name.  Just add that total to the race costs that apply to you, and you’ll have your total.  On Tuesday, we’ll have a master list of the amount each of us owes, but if you can do a tally for yourself and bring the correct change, it would really be much appreciated.
Cost and Kit Breakdown
All Milan Race Attendees £165, which includes:
Friday dinner — £30*
Saturday dinner — £45
Sunday dinner — £65
Race hat — £10 
WRW fee — £15**
*If you are not arriving until Saturday, the cost of the Friday night dinner will be deducted from your total.
** WRW fee helps to cover the costs of WRW, including appreciation gifts, the end-of-year “leavers” celebration, and website costs

Optional Milan Extra:  Saturday tour — £25

WRW Apparel (by order):
Annual Short-sleeve Shirt — £25
Long-sleeve Shirt — £30
Nike hat — £25
Tank top — £25    
Half-zip — £50
Please let me know if you have any questions about it.  I will see you all there!

We’re coming into the final stretch
I know you all know this, but we have 6 weeks until race day and we have 3 longs runs left.  You all are amazing and you ALL can do this.  Don’t worry about the times and the distances – they are long but we are in this together and we will DO THIS!

For break next week, do your best to get your runs in (45 min weekend, 60 min on Tues and Thurs), but if you can’t do it all, it’s OK.  Your muscles have been working hard and it’s good to give them a bit of a break.  If you are in town next Thursday, I will be here and would be happy to run with you all – just let me know.  We could find someplace fun to run to…
The rest of the schedule:
Week 25 – 14 Feb – 110 min = Wembley
Week 26 – 21 Feb –  60 min – ASL BREAK 
Week 27 – 28 Feb – 120 min = Canary Wharf
Week 28 – 7 Mar – 90 min – TBD
Week 29 – 14 Mar – 130 min = Kew Gardens
Week 30 – 21 Mar – 45 min = easy run through Regents Park

Don’t forget – your Tuesday runs are now 60 min long and the weekend run is 45 mins.  It is CRITICAL that you are running 3 times a week at this point.  Put it in your calendar and get it done 🙂

This week’s run
Wembley is one of my favorites.  There are many people who do not love this run as much as I do so I am going to tell you why I like it and you can tell me your own opinions of it at coffee 🙂
Why I like the Wembley run:
1) You see many sides of London along the canal
Some runners complain that parts of the canal are very ugly.  This is true.  However, I enjoy seeing the transition from city and the older buildings along the canal and newer gentrified condos to the industrial parts to the country parts, with glimpses of Wembley Stadium along the way.  I feel like it’s the real London – many sides, not always so pretty but always something to look at.  And as you keep going, it changes.

2) You see a part of London you otherwise wouldn’t – Wembley
No, not the stadium but the streets.  There is a large Hindu population and there are many shops with brightly coloured saris and trinkets that are fun to look at.  And there is an amazing Hindu temple that was built in 2010 that took 14 years to build from stone from India.  It is incredible.  Look for it on the left hand side of the street.

3) It has a long, uninterrupted stretch of canal running
Once we get on the canal, we run for about 6 miles.  I believe this will be the longest stretch of uninterrupted running you will have had so far.  One of the things that makes me love this run is that it was on this part of the run in my beginner year that I had a running epiphany – I felt like I could just keep running forever.  I think I had settled into that pace where you feel good, you feel like you’re just cooking along and you can chat and run and all is good.  I hadn’t really felt like that before and it was a great feeling.  Some of you may have already had that feeling, some may never get it, but having a nice long uninterrupted stretch may put you in a similar place.  I hope so!

4) You get to say you ran to Wembley!
Most people have heard of Wembley.  And people in London know it’s a ways out.  So it’s fun to be able to say you ran there – so impressive!

The route
Start out heading west on Circus Road, turn left on Grove End to St John’s Wood Road and go west, turning left on Cunningham then right on Aberdeen to work your way to the canal entrance on Blomfield. Continue out the canal and exit at Alperton, see photo below, not quite 7 miles in. Turn right at the top of the stairs, cross the bridge and take the first right onto Ealing Road. Just after the turn you’ll see the Alperton station on your left. Follow Ealing Road to the High Road and turn right. You’ll see Wembley Central on your right for the 8-mile route. For 9 miles, continue until you make a left on Park Lane which becomes Wembley Park Drive. Continue past the turn off to the stadium on the right and up to Wembley Park Tube Station.  There is a Costa just down the steps towards the stadium so we will head there for coffee afterwards for those who can stay.

Exit on the canal

2018-19 Beginners Week 24

Hi all,
I hope those of you who ran the Winter 10K had a fun time!  It looks like you had cold but sunny weather for it.  I can’t wait to hear all about it!  Congratulations!

This week
This week is ASL’s parent teacher conferences.  I am hoping most of you were able to schedule your conferences so you can run.  This week’s route is not complicated so if you aren’t able to come on Thursday, hopefully you can get together with others.  But let me know if you will not be able to make this Thursday.

Save the Date – Tuesday 12 February – Shirt/Hat Distribution and Money Collection
On Tuesday 12 February in the morning, we’ll be collecting money and distributing the WRW shirts and hats. We will also be collecting money for certain expenses for the Milan Half-Marathon trip. More details to follow.

This week – gels!
This week we are going to try gels on the run.  I saw a few of you with them last week.  Gels are basically carbohydrates to give your body some extra fuel during the race.  For the most part, we train in a way to teach our body to use fat as a fuel.  Fat is easier to access as an energy source and requires less fine-tuning in terms of timing carb intake during exercise.  Our bodies have about 1000-1200 “easy access” calories available which will get most ladies about 10-11 miles (depending on their weight and fitness level).  After that we will use gels (carbs) to fuel that last 2-3 miles of the half-marathon.  We, your coaches, will tell you when you should take the gel.  We will plan to use them on our longer runs going forward so we get used to taking them – we don’t want anything “new” on race day to throw us off!  On Thursday, we will bring a bunch of gels that you can sample.  You can try different flavors and brands and decide what you like (it may be helpful to keep the packet if you like it so you remember it).  Then you can buy some either online or at running stores.  In general, gels don’t taste great but they will either give you a boost after about 6 – 8 minutes or, if you’re like me, they will keep you from losing energy.
Some of the gels we have are called isotonic and have more liquid so you may not need water with them.  Others are more like the consistency of jam and you’ll want water to wash it down.  So please please bring your water with you.

Places to buy gels:
Runners Need stores or runnersneed.com (individual GU, SIS, TORQ, Shot Bloks, sport jelly beans)
sweatshop.co.uk  (you can buy individual GU gels here)
amazon.co.uk  (may only be available in boxes but you could share with others in the group)
Ocado (Clif Shot Bloks, SIS isotonic gels)

The route this week – to Big Ben and back
For this run we head to Hyde Park via the usual route and run along the eastern edge of the park to Hyde Park Corner, under the arch and down Constitution Hill.  Run pass the Victoria Memorial down the mall and enter St. James Park.  Run over the pond and out of the park, turning left onto Birdcage Walk and down into Parliament Square to Big Ben, then turn around and run the same route back to Starbucks.